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Mark D. White
I'm chair of the Department of Philosophy at the College of Staten Island, where I teach and write in the intersections between economics, philosophy, and law.
Recent Activity
113,248 words. (Imagine that sung by the cast of Rent.) Whew. Yesterday evening I emailed the manuscript for my latest superhero-and-philosophy book to my editor, who will then send it to instructor-reviewers to assess its potential for course adoption. As with my Captain America and Civil War books, this book... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Mark D. White
Some random thoughts on the jawdropping news — at least for readers of superhero comics — that superstar Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis has signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics... Wow. I mean WOW. This is huge. I count myself as a huge Bendis fan. Daredevil was the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2017 at The Comics Professor
A year and a half ago, Steve Rogers spoke those two words that changed the Marvel Universe and launched a secret empire... but more on that later. Suffice it to say our hero was not the same, until he was. Today, with the release of Captain America #695—renumbered a la... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2017 at The Comics Professor
Posted Aug 27, 2017 at Mark D. White
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at Mark D. White
It being the last day of June and all, I thought this might be a good time for a brief update... I'm working on three projects currently, trying to do a bit of work on each one every day, especially the first and main one. 1) The superhero-and-philosophy book I'm... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at Mark D. White
A short update before I burrow in my home office (or dining table, or couch) for the summer... May was not only the end of the academic year, with all the attendant end-of-year activities, but also a time to wrap up other sundry responsibilities before starting my next book. These... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2017 at Mark D. White
Like a butterfly from its cocoon? No... Like a phoenix from the ashes? No... Like a tired old man rising from his dining room table? Nailed it. At 2:32 PM yesterday (four days after my April 30 deadline), I emailed the manuscript for my latest book, The Decline of the... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at Mark D. White
The couple months since my last update have been uneventful personally (although, of course, not for the world in general). In fact, the last two months have been fairly routine for me, definitely in the negative sense of the word (but unfortunately without the benefits of routine in the positive... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2017 at Mark D. White
In the midst of the state of the country (and the world) at the moment, it seems a bit indulgent to blog about my activities over the month. But the work must continue. Since returning from the ASSA conference early this month (an experience recounted in my last post), I've... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at Mark D. White
My ASSA experience this year in Chicago was less hectic but no less enjoyable than conferences past, this one more focused on reconnecting with distant friends and colleagues and re-establishing ties than hearing or presenting research. I did not present a paper this year, and I went to fewer sessions... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at Mark D. White
Mark D. White On behalf of Geoff Sayre-McCord, UNC Chapel Hill is currently searching for an associate or full professor in work in its PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) program: The Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is seeking to appoint a tenured Associate or Professor to begin July 1, 2017 (although start date is negotiable). This person would be a core faculty member in our thriving Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program, and would be expected to contribute substantially to that program. AOS: Moral and Political Philosophy,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at Economics and Ethics
“PRIZES AND VIRTUES: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY WORKSHOP” LUMSA University, Rome – April 10-11, 2017 To an economist, a prize, such as a golden medal, is merely a special type of incentive. Any other kind of social scientist would be perplexed by thinking of the Nobel Prize, or of the Medal of Honour, in these terms. In contemporary neoclassical economics, the concept of incentive is a primitive, similar to that of “utility”, “price”, “production” or “consumption”, that all economists use but none feels the need to define: it is a foundation, or a corner stone, of the science of economics. However, if... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at Economics and Ethics
As I've done the last couple years, I'm summarizing the year's activities and looking ahead to the next year, along with some general impressions and reflections. If you've read my occasional personal updates this year, you know it's been a strange year, with a very productive and exciting first half,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2016 at Mark D. White
Mark D. White Upon generous invitation, earlier this month I helped launch a conversation at Cato Unbound regarding whether or to what extent Immanuel Kant can or should be regarded as a classical liberal. The entire discussion can be found here, starting with my lead article in defense of Kant as a classical liberal, followed by critical responses from Gregory Salmieri, Stephen R. C. Hicks, and Roderick T. Long, followed by my response to all three comments and further discussion (still continuing through the end of the month. Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2016 at Economics and Ethics
I was tempted to stop these updates, as I promised earlier. Yet, they do seem to serve some purpose, even if only for reflection, so we keep on keeping on... (For someone making better use of this than I, see here.) Surveying my last two updates (April and June), which... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2016 at Mark D. White
Well those were two interesting months, filled with writing, editing, book promotion, and a brief hospitalization. Some very good moments as well as some very bad ones... but a bit too tempestuous for my tastes. (Serenity now!) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Let's get the nasty stuff over with... just... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at Mark D. White
Wow, people haven't been this angry about a Captain America book since he was killed in 2007. And understandably so, because in today's Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, something even worse happens to the Sentinel of Liberty: he is revealed at the end of the comic to be a Hydra... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2016 at The Comics Professor
My pleasure, and sure thing -- my email is if it's easier.
Yes, the UN peacekeeping forces are only sent out when the UN can agree to -- and that's what Steve doesn't want (whether or not that's what Ross meant). Yeah, Steve could have done signed on and saw what happened -- if he were that pragmatic. ;) But he disagreed in principle, so he couldn't sign, simple as that. No one's judgment is perfect, but someone has to make the decision, and Steve feels he's better suited and placed to make that decision that UN political bureaucrats. Sure, I would have liked more talking too (as I said in my post), but the fight were terrific! :)
Oh, cool (last part) -- no, not a nuisance at all. I know, I'm the same way about utilitarianism, but with Sokovia in particular, anyone who died in the aftermath would certainly have died had Ultron succeeded, no real costs to the Avengers' intervention (once Ultron began his plan). Never thought about Tony and Ultron, though -- maybe no one in authority knew? C'mon, man -- it's the UN. Wherever the Avengers want to go, some country is going to have problems with it, and if they don't have direct say, they would find a way to influence the committee. I can't even imagine how such a committee would be formed (when known human rights violators get on human rights committees). Like I said, oversight is fine, but only after the fact (accountability) -- I think the public would have no other choice than to trust the Avengers to do the right thing ex ante.
With all due respect to the king, the Accords are a political document and can only be implemented politically -- there's no way to separate them. I'd have to watch again to hear exactly what Ross says, but I was pretty sure he said the Avengers could only operate when given permission by the UN committee implementing it. As Ross does say before he lists their most catastrophic exploits (this I do remember), the Avengers saved the world numerous times -- surely, if people thought about it, that would outweigh any relatively minor collateral damage (as cold as that sounds). (Unless you buy Vision's argument that they attract the threats they're forced to fight, which I'm not comfortable with.)
OK, but I do like stories in which the fallout and consequences from superhero activity is shown and dealt with. I wrote an entire book about such a story in the comics. ;)
That's hard to answer -- there aren't superpowered beings in the real world. But if they were, I think we should trust them to do the right thing until they violated that trust, and then decide what to do. Oversight and accountability can exist without the extreme version in the Sokovia Accords, where the UN tells them when thy can act and when they can't. They could be regulated more like police than military, so they can act on their own and account for it afterwards.
Not really -- they did the best they could, and saving everyone in the airborne city (where they were) was admirable, even though people died on the ground, which of course is tragic and unfortunate. But if they'd done nothing, imagine how many people would have lost their lives. (And I don't know what you mean by preferring a "classic" take on the team, but that's OK.)